0

Victory! Federal Appeals Court Upholds New Jersey Law Prohibiting Conversion Therapy for Minors

We have good news coming out of the Garden State today! A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously upheld a 2013 New Jersey law prohibiting licensed therapists from attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender expression or identity of patients under 18.

485221410456345855The court case stems from New Jersey Assembly Bill A3371 which was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie on August 19, 2013. Opponents of the law, including therapists who practice conversion therapy, challenged its 485221320552746575constitutionality immediately after its passage.
Continue reading

0

Six Things Joan Rivers Taught Me About Being a Gay Dad

My daughter is only 16-months-old, so I have a lot still to learn about parenting. But thanks to the legendary Joan Rivers I feel like I’ve got a head start. The comedy titan seemed fearless yet vulnerable in her everyday life, which I try to emulate every day for my child.

220px-Joan_Rivers_2010_-_David_Shankbone

Thanks to her years “in the business” – I’m talking parenting here, not showbiz – and her notoriously big mouth, she shared her pearls of wisdom with the world. Here’s what I learned from Joan:

  1. Show Your Kids Who’s Boss – Throughout this clip on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson Joan continuously references “wisdom” as allowing her to make fun of life and people. I love it. This wisdom shone through any time Joan talked about her daughter. You could tell Joan knew deep down just how hard parenting and she masked that difficulty by conveying her gripes in comedy. As one of her jokes went, “A child of one can be taught not to do certain things such as touch a hot stove, turn on the gas, pull lamps off their tables by their cords, or wake mommy before noon.” I couldn’t agree more! Kids need discipline, order and structure – and that includes knowing that you are a disciplinarian, not a best friend.

Continue reading

0

Interested in Becoming a Gay Dad? Check Out “The Handsome Father”

Hi All:

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted but I plan to resume with more frequency. I’ve been writing a lot for other LGBT publications and outlets, including The Handsome Father, a website geared toward helping and supporting gay dads. You should check out the bios I’ve written on the website here260722_300

If you’re already a gay dad you should consider becoming a mentor to help other aspiring gay dads! It’s a great opportunity to share what you’ve learned.

0

Check Out My Work for The Advocate

Hi All! I’ve been radio silent for awhile because I’m helping The Advocate beef up it’s Parenting channel. You should check out my work! Here are my latest stories:

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 11.07.09 AM

Obamacare and Its Benefits for LGBT Families

The Affordable Care Act promises to help same-sex couples, single LGBT folks, and their children in a variety of ways.

Immigration Reform a Priority for Gay Couples and Their Kids

Various crises have pushed immigration reform to the back burner, but LGBT activists such as Kate Kendell point out why it deserves attention.

How to Find an LGBT-Friendly Adoption Agency

Finding one is not always easy, but there are some sources that can help you.

The Most Adoption-Friendly Workplaces

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption ranks employers by their adoption-related benefits.

Will Utah Be the Next State to Protect Gay-Headed Families?

Some activists believe marriage equality, with all its benefits for children as well as adults, will arrive soon in Utah.

New Archive Shows Real History of LGBT-Led Families

The Family Equality Council and Yale University have partnered to create an interactive timeline, and Yale is preserving an archive of materials on the LGBT family equality movement.

China: Change Afoot for LGBT Parents and Children?

The atmosphere in China is far from LGBT-friendly, but activists are working for change and seeing the U.S. as a model.

2

Five Things I Can No Longer Wear Now That I’m a (Gay) Dad

0511-0904-1302-0029_dad_snoring_in_his_easy_chair_clipart_image

Yup, that’s me. Except I have more hair.

There are a lot of great things that happen when you have a baby. You get to see the world through new eyes. You get to buy lots of cute clothes and not look like a pedophile. And you have a warm, snugly body to cozy up with any time you want.

But there are also things that stop right when you have a kid – or at least cease shortly thereafter. Here are five things I can no longer wear now that I have a lovely, sweet and amazing daughter: Continue reading

0

Why am I Obsessed with My Daughter’s Sleeping Habits?

“She went down about 7:04 pm,” I said, answering my husband’s question about when our daughter went to bed the previous night.

Our two (gay childless) friends in from out of town laughed. “You’re so precise,” one of them said. In that moment I realized a) just how obsessed I was with my daughter’s sleep and b) just how little non-parents realize the difficulty of getting an infant on a sleep schedule.  Continue reading

0

AbFab’s Jennifer Saunders on Parenting – Love It!

absolutely-fabulous

Sweetie darling!

Jennifer Saunders, star of the brilliant Absolutely Fabulous, has a new book out and apparently is commenting on all sorts of topics, including parenting.

In an article yesterday in Britain’s Daily Mail, Saunders says, “They [children] have to learn what life is like, that people have bad moods. People get cross. If I’m tired, and you’re pushing it, I’m going to shout.” Continue reading

0

How Much Does Adoption Cost?

I get a lot of questions about how much it cost to adopt my child. There’s no way to predict how much an adoption will costs, since every circumstance is different. But there are some general numbers that get thrown around. You can also control costs by making informed decisions around nonprofit vs. for-profit agencies, geographic location of the child, paying a lawyer or doing it yourself, and taking advantage of the now-permanent adoption tax credit.

I was searching on the web and found a handy crib sheet, pun intended, on sample costs for adoption across geographies and through different types of agencies. The image is in the latest Building Your Family Donor, Surrogacy, and Adoption Guide. Here’s a screenshot of the page (I wanted to put the whole page but the info was hard-coded not a .gif or other shareable image format):

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 9.33.43 AM
Sorry about the poor image quality, but you get the drift. There’s also this article from Bankrate.com that compares the cost of adoption and surrogacy.

Again, each adoption is going to be different. One thing is universally true about surrogacy though: 99% of the time it’s more expensive than adoption. And for same-sex families, the option of international adoption is all but closed, while surrogacy abroad for same-sex couples is disappearing, as witnessed with India’s decision earlier this year to ban gay foreign couples from surrogacy.

I’d love to hear personal stories related to adoption and surrogacy costs, since this is definitely something that impacts people’s desire, and ability to become parents.